Anyone else notice the new Facebook feature: Credits?
Facebook Credits is a virtual currency you can use to buy gifts and virtual goods in your favorite games and applications on Facebook.
Visit the Games dashboard for the hottest games your friends are playing:
Check out all the games that use Credits:
And don't forget to send your friends virtual gifts:
To provide the fastest and easiest way to pay for digital goods and services.
So Facebook's starting to charge for "stuff" and is no longer totally free? OK, that's a bit inaccurate as there are already things that require payment, such as the various Zynga and other games, other apps that allows you to spend real money for virtual things etc
What's got me thinking is that not only are they starting to charge but are also actively trawling contact lists for new addicts/victims to suck into the social media arena. Nothing new again, they have always had the option to "scan your email contacts to add friends" but it is usually noninvasive. Lately I've been browsing around my usual online haunts like Farmville etc and did the usual stuff only to suddenly get blocked by Facebook itself, not the application, that wants me to surrender my Skype and Googletalk contact list for assimilation before being able to view an application's information, a user's profile or finish sending a gift etc. Usually the applications themselves wanted the information to add to the players etc but this time it's the Big One who is asking. Do I dare ignore it?
Step one of world domination, seduce or coerce everyone to join the "it's free and fun" Facebook.
Step two, once you have them hooked and they're lost without you, start introducing "charges for extras, optional and not required)
Step three, increase till everything's pay-or-else then cut off their contact and extort vast sums of money or souls or brain cells from them.
Step four, repeat to infinity
The parable or whatever it's called about a frog in boiling water: dump it in boiling water and it jumps, screams and freaks out...put it in normal water and bring to a boil over a few hours, one happy but eventually boiled frog with no fuss (excpet for the SPCA maybe)
Facebook itself keeps promising not to charge anyone for using the service but the pages and petitions to "join now and stop Facebook from charging" keep popping up. Of course, they don't mean anything as the people joining have no power over the Facebook phenomenon.So, start saving, you may not be able to poke anyone for free for much longer.